A breakthrough in synthetic biology fixes carbon dioxide from the air better than nature

In a breakthrough in the field of synthetic biology, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology have taken a crucial first step toward… Implementing carbon dioxide stabilization cycles2 Synthetic materials in living cells. By introducing three units that form a new cycle of carbon dioxide fixation2they were able to convert this gas into acetyl-CoA, an essential building block inside E. coli bacteria.

The importance of capturing and converting carbon dioxide2

In the face of the climate emergency facing our planet, innovative methods have been developed to capture and convert carbon dioxide (CO2).2) has become more important than ever. Synthetic biology is presented as a promising solution, offering the design of methods for carbon dioxide fixation2 Which exceeds natural systems in efficiency.

Theta cycle: an innovative approach

The research group led by Tobias Erb developed the THETA cycle, a synthetic pathway for carbon dioxide fixation2 Which is distinguished by its efficiency and biotechnological capabilities. Using rapid biocatalytic enzymes, this cycle converts carbon dioxide2 To acetyl-CoA more efficiently than natural photosynthesis methods.

Acetyl-CoA: the central metabolite

Acetyl-CoA plays a central role in cellular metabolism, serving as a precursor to a wide range of essential biomolecules. Constructing the THETA cycle in the laboratory and optimizing it through advanced techniques has shown a significant increase in the production of this valuable compound.

Implementation in living cells: Escherichia coli

By dividing the THETA cycle into three modules, the researchers achieved its successful implementation inside E. coli bacteria. This achievement represents a fundamental step towards producing valuable compounds from carbon dioxide2 In living organisms, they are verified through isotope selection and labeling techniques.

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Challenges and future perspectives

Despite success in implementing individual modules, completing the THETA cycle in E. coli and synchronizing it with normal metabolism remains a major challenge. However, the potential of this cycle as a platform for producing compounds from carbon dioxide opens new horizons in biotechnology.

via Max Planck Gesellschaft

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